Governor Phil Bryant vetoed a so-called "criminal justice reform" bill. The do-gooders patted themselves on the back as they crowed about how they were going to bring some true justice to the criminal justice system in Mississippi. However, HB #1033 takes aim at communities that try to protect their families from crime in the name of a "disparate sentencing" study.
This bill creates a "Mississippi Sentencing Disparity Task Force". Get ready, Madison and Rankin counties. This bill is going to use the "possible disparity in sentencing" to promote "uniform justice". Translation? The task force will compare your efficient criminal justice system that keeps crime rates low to the catch & release program in Hinds County. Let that one percolate in your head for awhile.
Section 8(2) (Line 360) specifies who will sit on the task force. The task force will have twelve members. Notice who is not serving on the task force as you read through the appointments. The number of appointments are in parenthesis.
*Speaker of the House (2). Must be representatives.
*Leftenant Governor (2). Must be senators.
*Commissioner of MDOC or representative
*Attorney General or representative
*Director of a "faith-based" organization involved in a re-entry program OR someone appointed by Lieutenant Governor.
*Chief Justice of Mississippi Supreme Court
*Chairman of the Parole Board
*Former offender appointed by the Chairman of the Parole Board.
There are NO prosecutors on this task force. There are NO Sheriffs or law enforcement officials on this task force. There are NO trial court judges on this task force. In other words, the people who deal with criminals every day, get their hands dirty catching them, prosecuting them, and protecting their communities, are completely left off of this task force. The Chief Justice will thus pronounce judgment from his ivory tower while the Circuit Judge who has to see murder photos, stone-cold killers who laugh about their crimes, and weeping victims is ignored by this task force. Now THAT is some disparate treatment.
Forest Thigpen brags about this "reform" bill but mentions absolutely nothing about this task force in his column published in the Clarion-Ledger last week. One can only wonder why it was not mentioned.
This task force that is disparate is several ways is what these bumbling do-gooders call "reform". They tell us this is a good thing. The do-gooders have more representation on this board than the Sheriff who has to protect his community from robbers and rapists. Yet this is what The Preacher, the Do-Gooders, and Wonderboy are doing with this bill: Ignore those who try to protect us while empowering those who have an interest in passing out Get Out of Jail Free cards.
Think I am being too harsh? Well, think about this: Judge Tomie Green's blessings will be compared to Rankin County justice. Does anyone think this task force will recommend increasing sentences?
Kingfish note: The main problem Mississippi, and especially the Jackson metro area, has with crime is catch and release. Education programs in prison are a good thing. Making prisoners get GED's or learn a trade is welcome. If a felon can't work, he is more likely to go back to a life of crime. However, these do-gooders and their reforms such as this bill and HB #585 has made catch and release more likely. As more criminals qualify for parole upon serving just 25% of their sentences thanks to these bills, expect crime to increase. Of course, when these guys go out and commit more crimes, MDOC complains too many judges are revoking probation. The judges have also figured out that Ten years equals two and a half years so guess what? They are imposing longer sentences so the criminals don't go back out on the street within a year.
There are better ways to accomplish the goals of helping convicts succeed once they get out of prison.